A double-shot of ARRAY news this afternoon…
First, the distribution company founded by Ava DuVernay has announced the Netflix releases of its most recent acquisitions: Sara Blecher’s “Ayanda” and Takeshi Fukagana’s Spirit Award nominated “Out of My Hand.”
Set in the vibrant, Afropolitan community of Johannesburg’s Yeoville, “Ayanda” is a coming-of-age story of a 21-year-old “Afro-hipster,” who embarks on a journey of self-discovery, when she has to fight to save her late father’s legacy – a motor repair shop – when it is threatened with closure. She’s thrown into a world of gender stereotypes and abandoned vintage cars once loved, now in need of a young woman’s re-inventive touch to bring them back to life again.
The film stars Fulu Mugovhani and Nigerian actor OC Ukeje, with a star-heavy South African cast that includes Ntathi Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Jafta Mamabola, Thomas Gumede, Sihle Xaba and veteran star of stage and screen, Vanessa Cooke.
This is director Sara Blecher’s follow-up to her critically-acclaimed “Otelo Burning” (covered quite extensively on this blog).
Takeshi Fukunaga’s directorial debut, “Out of My Hand,” is about a worker on a Liberian rubber plantation who wants to get away from a life overshadowed by civil war, and so moves to New York where he lives a new life as a taxi driver.
The film, made with support from the Liberian government and its Movie Union, who sponsored the shoot, stars Bishop Blay and Zenobia Kpoto. Its cast for the Liberia portion of the shoot are played by Liberians, who, for the majority, made their acting debuts.
Both films are available for streaming on Netflix today, January 19, 2016, so dig in!
Second, ARRAY has teamed up with crowdfunding platform Indiegogo today for a collaboration that will kick off at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where both companies will collect in an intimate gathering of 50 influencers representing both the creative and business sides of the industry, with the goal being to brainstorm ideas for the future in terms of support of independent films by content creators of color, as well as women filmmakers around the world.
“On behalf of ARRAY’s Maverick and Rebel members and our Founding Leaders, I’m thrilled to hold hands with our friends at Indiegogo on this intimate gathering of film artists and advocates focused on community and change,” explained Ava DuVernay, ARRAY Founder. “Indiegogo has proven to be the perfect, like-minded partner in this experiential endeavor at Sundance to asset the importance and beauty of filmmakers of color and women filmmakers.”
“We started Indiegogo because we believe every idea deserves a chance at success and every person deserves the opportunity to fund what matters to them – whether that’s a story that’s never been told or a film from a voice that’s never been heard,” said Danae Ringelmann, Co-Founder and Chief Development Officer of Indiegogo. “We’re so excited to start working with Array in our mutual mission to empower all aspiring filmmakers get a chance to bring their ideas to the screen.”
The 2016 Sundance Film Festival kicks off this Thursday, January 21 in Park City, UT.